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Roku staffs up advertising business with new executives

Sarah Harms is joining from Microsoft; Sal Candela previously worked at Spotify.

Sarah Harms is joining from Microsoft; Sal Candela previously worked at Spotify.

Sarah Harms (left) and Sal Candela.
Sarah Harms (left) and Sal Candela. (Courtesy images)

Roku has hired a pair of new executives that will help build out the company’s digital advertising businesses.

This week, Sarah Harms started as Roku’s new vice president of advertising marketing. She will be responsible for executing marketing and measurement strategies across Roku’s entire advertising business, the company said in a statement.

Harms joins Roku from Microsoft, where she oversaw national sales and account management for the buy-side technology business formerly known as Xandr, which was acquired from AT&T in 2021.

Sal Candela has been hired to serve as Roku’s new vice president of global agency partnerships, where he will work on fostering “deep collaboration with agencies,” the company said. He previously served in a similar role at streaming audio company Spotify.

Harms will report directly to Jay Askinasi, the senior vice president of global media revenue and growth at Roku. Askinasi joined Roku from Publicis Groupe earlier this year. Candela will report to Kristina Shepard, the company’s vice president of global advertising sales.

“Expanding the Roku Media team marks a pivotal time for the company, as Roku continues to grow its market-leading scale,” Askinasi said in a statement. “I have no doubt that Sarah will help take our business to new heights with her proven ability to deliver scalable, valuable solutions to advertisers. Sal’s deep industry knowledge and agency relationships will be advantageous to our business as media investments continue to shift towards TV streaming this upfront season.”

Advertising is becoming a bigger part of Roku’s business as the company shifts its focus from hardware sales in favor of revenue opportunities from its streaming platform. The company earned $882 million in revenue during the first three months of 2024, of which $754.9 million was directly attributed to advertising and subscriptions.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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